The BiOS – a £16,000 ‘folding’ house that may revolutionise housing

The BiOS mobile home offers two up, two down living space and a roof garden.


biosA mobile and ‘folding’ house known as the BiOS may change the way we live and do away with expensive mortgages forever. Obsessed engineer Richard Perkin has launched his project on Kickstarter last month with a view to bringing the house to market and allowing the designs to be published for DIY construction.

Unfortunately, the KickStarter project failed to raise the initial £5,000 to develop the concept of completing the prototype of the double folding house and to produce the necessary documentation for plans and assembly instructions. The 800 square foot structure folds down to a shipping container sized unit, so it is easily transportable anywhere in the world.

I like this idea, however, and perhaps Perkin should try again.

The mobile home, called the BiOS, offers plenty of living space – two up two down, with a roof garden that can be used for growing fruit, and herbs. The 800 square foot house folding structure, which costs around £16,000 to build, aims to provide an independent and sustainable lifestyle, ultimately incorporating water, heating, refrigeration and food production along with waste reduction and recycling.

The BiOS underscores the growth in the ‘tiny house’ movement and a progression in the nomadic way of life. The mechanical engineer aims to provide a mobile, self-sufficient, off-grid solution for people who want a simplistic lifestyle with minimal impact on the environment.

“There is sufficient moisture in the air in most places to allow what is essentially an air-conditioning system to condense that moisture from the air to provide water for drinking, and cultivation of plants. Besides allowing complete freedom of movement without having to worry about a local water source, having such a unit installed in the house will provide refrigeration for food as well as cooling and heating for the inside space.”

Business meeting app Meetzoo exceeds £150K crowdfunding target

Meetzoo is a new business app that wants to make business meetings more productive.


meetzooMeetzoo is a new crowdfunded app that wants to make over-long, annoying and time-consuming business meetings more efficient.

After launching on crowdfunding site Crowdcube, Meetzoo has exceeded its £150,000 crowdfunding target and will be showcased at next year’s Mobile World Congress.

It’s a decent idea and one that many time-conscious people will welcome. Meetzoo describes itself as ‘the informed way to meet’.

It combines users’ calendar with social media and ‘collaborative note-taking’. Meetzoo’s action tracking features bring continuity of thought and action to every meeting by letting participants track their interactions and tasks and pick up exactly where they left off.

Meetzoo lets users work the way they want by integrating meeting lifecycles with cloud-based apps, such as CRM systems (Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics etc.) and collaboration tools (Slack, Evernote).

It aims to make business meetings more productive by telling users information about whom they want to meet, if and when they have met before, what they talked about and enabling them to quickly connect with new contacts on social media.

My first response to this is that this definition is another word for a human brain, but apparently nowadays we all have to have our thinking done for us by an app. My second response is that this will probably work, especially for those who let one side of their brain do certain thinking.

Founded in February 2016 by entrepreneur Paul Lewis-Borman, who previously co-founded the multi-million pound software and services firm Symbox, Meetzoo will use the money raised to add features for ad-hoc encounters such as ‘bump to meet’ – where users can bump or shake phones with a new person they meet and instantly exchange details.

Somewhat inevitably, Lewis-Borman was ‘thrilled’.

“I am thrilled to have exceeded our £150,000 investment goal. We now have the funding to deliver our exciting roadmap where we release versions for other platforms such as web and Android, and develop features that move beyond calendar-driven meetings to events and conferences,” he said.

YOUR LIFE: Three years on social, one year in pub, 235 days in a queue

Social media will take up three years of your life as opposed to other uses of your time.

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According to a new study commissioned to launch the new Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch, the average British adult will spend more than three years updating and browsing social media, one year down the pub and seven months waiting in line over the course of an adult lifetime.

The findings of the new study say 92% of Brits agreeing that it feels as though time seems to speed up as we grow older. That finding, however, is obvious. For a four-year-old, a year is 25% of their life whereas for a septuagenarian, it is only 1/70th of their life. Tempus fugit indeed.

The Samsung Time of our Lives Report surveyed 3,000 UK adults and was overseen by leading statistician Dr Geoff Ellis to give the data a semblance of credibility. Other key findings were:

The average Brit in their lifetime will spend:

* 17 years and 41 days sleeping
* 13 years working, including 1 year and 3 months outside of contracted hours
* 8 years and 110 days watching TV
* 3 years and 2 months on holiday
* 1 year and 7 months commuting

The report, surprisingly, does not mention how often we are likely to have sex, although it is hoped that will last longer than commuting and we DON’T use social media when we do it, although that appears to be on the rise as well. As for queuing, that essential civilising part of UK culture remains high, and long may that continue

Social Psychologist Dr Becky Spellman, who led the research, said: “The report reveals that we are busier today than at any other time in history. As we become a generation of people who find it hard to switch off, our brains are adjusting and making us even better multi-taskers. Our ability to juggle, manage and process information is growing at a substantial rate.”

Entrepreneurs in the UK really hate their banks

New figures report that UK entrepreneurs have to spend at least one day a month on financial admin and 67% of small business owners wouldn’t recommend their bank to others.

entreprenuersSmall business owners are wasting considerable amounts of their time on routine financial administraion in the early stages of their companies’ lives, according to a new survey.

The figures released by Tide, ‘a new banking service designed specifically for small business’ – show that 63% of entrepreneurs running startups spend at least one day every month on administrative financial tasks, such as setting up bank accounts, tax calculations, invoices and expenses.

Based on a survey of 149 UK small business owners and sole traders about their experiences of small business banking and of managing their finances, 36% of respondents rated the help and support received from their bank as poor or very poor, while 67% said they weren’t likely to recommend their current business bank to others.

“In the early days of starting a new business, entrepreneurs and sole traders all too easily find themselves tied up in financial red tape. And while the tasks they have to complete aren’t necessarily complicated, they are time-consuming and unfamiliar. There is no reason why banks can’t help their customers to navigate these waters more efficiently and save them time, but they simply aren’t doing so,” said George Bevis, CEO of Tide.

Respondents also revealed their most significant frustrations and challenges in managing their company’s finances. Topping the list was tax calculations (a challenge for 54% of those surveyed), followed by accounting (51%), keeping track of expenses (49%), having to use multiple applications to manage different services (38%), invoicing (30%), and payroll (18%).

Those surveyed were also asked what features were most important in choosing a banking provider. The top Five were easy internet banking (listed by 80%), a good mobile app (66%), free transactions (54%), speed of set up (39%), and the length of the free banking period (36%).

Conversely, some traditional strengths offered by the banking sector such as having a local branch (5%), offering an overdraft (10%) or telephone support (16%) were seen as unimportant, while not a single respondent said that the provision of a chequebook would be a factor in their choice.

Startup Patterns: Bite-sized startup lessons for founders

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One of the biggest patterns for any startup is finding time to learn while growing the company. It’s hard enough dealing with growth and revenues, let alone resource to learn from experts.

Usually, that knowledge comes with being accepted by one of the world’s thousands of accelerators, where tech mentors exchange their expertise and contacts in exchange for equity in the company. Continue reading